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Gatorland Orlando: The Best Place to See Gators in Florida

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Welcome to Gatorland Orlando, where the thrills are real and the reptiles are bigger than life!

Since 1949, Gatorland Orlando has been wowing visitors from all over the world with its alligator shows, lush marshes, and scenic aviaries. But what really sets Gatorland apart is its mission to acquire, rescue, and protect alligators.

Gatorland Orlando Review, Planning and Tips

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If you’re looking for a wild day filled with excitement and adventure, then Gatorland Orlando is the place for you. In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on Gatorland Orlando, share some handy tips, and make sure you have a blast.

So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the amazing world of gators!

Four small alligators at Gatorland Orlando sitting on a wooden surface beside a metal pale
feed the gators..3 for $5

Gatorland Review, Planning and Tips

Greetings from Gataorland since 1949 sign outside Gatorland

Tickets to Gatorland Orlando:

Single-Day Passes

Gatorland Orlando offers convenient single-day passes that come with ample free parking and the absence of long lines or crowds. The park is also open on all holidays, so you have plenty of opportunities to explore.

The schedule for Gatorland’s fantastic animal shows and exhibits are designed to accommodate visitors throughout the day and may vary slightly by season.

Greater Gator Package

To enhance your Gatorland Orlando experience, you can consider purchasing the Greater Gator Package. It will allow you to add three of the park’s most popular experiences to your visit.

By purchasing this package, you can save while enjoying a unique and comprehensive Gatorland adventure that is inclusive of the park’s three most popular experiences.

Please note that reservations are not required for single-day admissions, the Greater Gator Package, or Wrangler Packages, offering flexibility in choosing your preferred date to visit.

Single-Day Pass Prices

  • Adult (age 13 years & up): $32.99* plus tax
  • Child (age 3 – 12 years): $22.99* plus tax

Annual Passes

If you seek unlimited access to Gatorland, the Annual Passes are a good way to go. With an Annual Pass, you can visit Gatorland as many times as you wish throughout the year, enjoying the park’s diverse offerings across different seasons.

Annual Pass holders also receive a range of unique discounts and benefits

Annual Pass Prices

  • Adult (age 13 years & up): $49.99 plus tax
  • Child (age 3 – 12 years): $34.99 plus tax

Getting to Gatorland Orlando

When it comes to reaching Gatorland Orlando, convenience is key. The park is located on Hwy 441, just north of the Orlando-Kissimmee line in South Orlando.

The best part? It’s easily accessible and only a short distance away from popular attractions like Walt Disney World, Sea World, and the Orlando International Airport.

If you’re coming from Daytona Beach and passing through the Universal Studios Area, hop on I-4 and take Exit #72 (528 Beachline) heading east. Exit before any tolls and take the Orange Blossom Trail (SR 441) exit. Hang a right at the stoplight and continue south on SR 441 for about 5 miles. You’ll spot Gatorland on the left after the Hunters Creek subdivision.

For those coming from the Lake Buena Vista Disney Area, you have a couple of options. Option one: head south to SR 536 from SR 535, turn left and follow the signs toward the airport. Take 417 The Greenway (a toll road) and use Exit #11 for Orange Blossom Trail (SR 441). Take a right at the light beside Super Target and continue south for approximately 1 mile. Gatorland will be on the left.

Option two from the Disney hotels is to take Osceola Parkway towards the Turnpike. Make a left onto Orange Blossom Trail (SR 441) and head north for 1 mile. Gatorland will be on the right side of the road, just after Tupperware.

If you’re traveling from the south, such as Miami, take the Florida Turnpike heading north. Take the exit after the Kissimmee/St. Cloud exit for Osceola Parkway. Turn left off the exit onto Osceola Pkwy heading west. Afterward, take a right on Orange Blossom Trail (SR 441, Hwy 17-92) heading north for approximately 1 mile. Gatorland will be on your right, right after Tupperware.

Things to do in Gatorland Orlando

Gator Gully Splash Park at Gatorland Orlando

Gator Gully Splash Park

Gator Gully Splash Park is a great place to cool off in the Florida heat. It has whimsical sprinklers, water guns, and lifelike gators.

There are also coconut palm sprayers, a butterfly, and a water dragon. The park also has cool-to-the-touch floor panels and plenty of shade for parents and grandparents.

White Alligator Swamp

Another exciting attraction at Gatorland Orlando is the White Gator Swamp, where you can encounter the rare and captivating white alligators. These magnificent creatures are often mistaken for albinos, but in fact, only Pearl, the park’s famous albino gator, falls into that category.

The other white gators are leucistic, which means they have a unique genetic condition that sets them apart. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to see these extraordinary animals during your visit to Gatorland Orlando.

Keeper on an alligator at the Gatorland Jumparoo Show

Gatorland Jumparoo Show

The Gatorland Jumparoo Show at Gatorland Orlando is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Watch in amazement as the alligators leap with jaw-dropping power and agility to snatch their chicken treats from the air.

The crowd goes wild, cheering on these impressive reptiles as they soar over 4 feet above the water. It really is a one-of-a-kind spectacle that will leave you in awe of their incredible primal instincts. 

Screamin’ Gator Zipline in the distance beside trees photographed from a footpath

Screamin’ Gator Zipline

Adrenaline junkies and thrill-enthusiasts, prepare for an adrenaline-pumping experience at Gatorland Orlando’s Screamin’ Gator Zipline. This exciting attraction takes you on a high-flying adventure, covering 1,200 feet of excitement.

The towering zip line towers, standing over seven stories tall, provide breathtaking views and launch pads that will take your breath away. From these heights, you’ll enjoy a birds-eye perspective of the park, its attractions, and the incredible creatures that call it home.

Gatorland Express Train - a colourful black, red and green train photographed stationary

Gatorland Express Train

Hopping aboard the Gatorland Express Train is a great way to explore Gatorland Orlando. This leisurely train ride takes you on a tranquil journey through the park’s wooded and shaded areas, providing the perfect opportunity to unwind and appreciate the abundant wildlife.

Keep your eyes peeled, for you may spot a variety of avian species gracefully soaring through the air or perched among the branches. Glimpses of deer navigating the foliage may also cross your path.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Gatorland without the presence of the park’s iconic alligators, making appearances along your journey.

Four small alligators at Gatorland Orlando sitting on a wooden surface beside a metal pale

Feed the gators

Pay a small fee for a rod and feed the gators!

Head to the Petting Zoo

gatorland tortoise

See more animals and birds

goats at gatorland
flamingo at gatorland
macaw at gatorland
Pearl's good eats menu - a large white and yellow menu on a wooden wall. Menu items include fried gator nuggets

Places to eat in Gatorland Orlando

This hidden gem, formerly known as Pearl’s Smokehouse, has been serving up delicious eats since 1991. From juicy hamburgers and classic hot dogs to crispy chicken tenders and mouth-watering chicken sandwiches, there’s something for everyone.

Pearl’s Good Eats

But the real star of the show? The fried gator nuggets that guests can’t get enough of!

And don’t worry, the alligator meat used in the nuggets comes from outside sources. Best of all, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy a satisfying meal at Pearl’s Good Eats. 

Snack Shack

When it comes to satisfying your cravings at Gatorland Orlando, Snack Shack is the place to be! This charming eatery has been serving up delicious Southern flavors since 1965, delighting guests every single day.

From classic chili dogs and savory pulled pork sandwiches to good old corn dogs, the Snack Shack offers a variety of tasty options that are sure to please everyone. And if you’re dining with little ones, they’ll love the kid-friendly choices like hot dogs or macaroni and cheese.

But what sets Snack Shack apart is its unique dining experience. As you enjoy your meal, you’ll be surrounded by the park’s captivating wildlife.

Picture this: covered tables where you can sit and savor your food, while nearby alligators bask in the sun and turtles lazily lounge on decks. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to dine amidst the wonders of nature.

Gator Gully General Store

Gator Gully General Store is your charming go-to spot for delicious and pocket-friendly refreshments.

Step inside the General Store and prepare to be delighted by a wide selection of treats that are perfect for keeping cool and energized throughout your day at Gatorland. From thirst-quenching beverages to a variety of mouthwatering ice cream bars, they have just what you need to beat the Florida heat and keep your spirits high.

And if you need a break from the sun, the General Store’s inviting patio area is the ideal retreat. Take a seat in one of their comfy Adirondack chairs, kick back, and enjoy a moment of relaxation while taking in the lively sights of the splash park.

Tips for visiting Gatorland Orlando

  1. Know Gatorland Orlando hours:

Before planning your trip to Gatorland, it’s essential to know the park’s opening hours, which are typically from 10 am to 6 pm. By being aware of the operating hours, you can plan your visit accordingly and ensure you have enough time to fully enjoy all the attractions and shows without feeling rushed.

  1. Know what to wear to Gatorland Orlando:

As you’ll be spending the majority of your time outdoors, it’s important to dress comfortably and appropriately. Opt for comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, especially if you plan to participate in activities like the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line.

Additionally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bring a hat to protect yourself from the Florida sun’s rays.

If you’re planning to utilize the splash pad area, consider bringing an extra change of clothes for your children. Gatorland provides a drying station and also offers lockers and changing rooms for your convenience. 

Drying station at Gatorland Orlando
The park has a dryer after spashing in the water splash area.
  1. Bring your theme park kit:

Pack a theme park kit that includes essentials like hats, sunscreen, and reusable water bottles. Staying hydrated throughout your visit is important, and having your own water bottle will help you avoid constantly purchasing plastic bottles.

It’s also a good idea to bring extra cash, as they only accept cash for the unique experience of feeding the alligators.

Feed the baby gators 3 for $5 sign at Gatorland Orlando
  1. Plan for a half-day or shorter full-day:

Decide in advance how much time you have to explore Gatorland. Even a half-day visit can offer a memorable experience with various attractions and activities, like ziplining and bird watching.

If you choose a shorter full-day visit, take breaks at the splash pad to cool off and relax.

  1. Make use of free parking:

Gatorland Orlando offers free parking, so take advantage of this perk and save some money for other experiences in the park. Just remember to park close enough to the theme park entrance.

  1. Enjoy behind-the-scenes experiences:

Immerse yourself in unique encounters by trying out behind-the-scenes experiences like Adventure Hour or Trainer for a Day. These special activities provide a deeper understanding of the park’s operations and let you interact closely with the animals.

  1. Hold off on bringing outside food:

For the safety of the animals, outside food is not allowed in the park. But don’t worry, Gatorland offers affordable and tasty meal options for you to enjoy during your visit.

Four small alligators at Gatorland Orlando sitting on a wooden surface beside a metal pale

Hotels close to Gatorland Orlando

Marriott Lakeshore Reserve

Experience tranquility at Marriott Lakeshore Reserve, a vacation ownership resort near Gatorland Orlando. Enjoy free Wi-Fi, parking, and no resort fees. Choose from guest rooms, villas, or townhouses for all travelers. Amenities include a restaurant, fitness center, outdoor pool, hot tub, kids’ activities, and a convenience store. Your perfect Orlando getaway awaits!

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes

Indulge in luxury at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, a stunning resort located on a lush 500-acre property near Gatorland Orlando. The resort’s new Grande Lakes Water Park offers fun for all ages with a lazy river, Headwaters Slide Tower, lagoons, and cabanas.

Experience a diverse culinary journey with seven dining outlets offering Southern-inspired, Italian, and handcrafted cocktails.

For an unforgettable stay near Gatorland, choose the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, where luxury and excitement meet.

Park Royal Orlando

Park Royal Orlando is the perfect affordable and convenient option near Gatorland Orlando. With budget-friendly rates, families can enjoy a comfortable stay without overspending.

The resort offers children’s activities and a pool, ensuring a pleasant experience for guests of all ages. The dedicated staff provides friendly service and assistance throughout your stay.

Tryp By Wyndham Orlando

TRYP by Wyndham Orlando is a sought-after place to stay near Gatorland Orlando. Despite being 10 miles away, it offers a safe, affordable, and relaxing experience for all ages.

Enjoy the outdoor pool and social library, along with complimentary breakfast, parking, and high-speed WiFi. The hotel’s location on IDrive provides easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

It’s also convenient for business travelers attending conferences or conventions. Explore Orlando’s attractions, golf courses, and museums nearby.

FAQs

Is Gatorland Orlando worth the money?

Absolutely! Gatorland Orlando is totally worth the money, especially if you’re a fan of animals, especially alligators! With over 2,000 of these fascinating creatures, it’s a theme park and wildlife preserve rolled into one, offering a bunch of awesome attractions to enjoy.

From cool shows and thrilling zip lines to fun airboat rides and educational programs, there’s something for everyone to love. Whether you’re looking for entertainment or want to learn more about alligators and conservation, Gatorland Orlando promises a fantastic and memorable experience.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides at Gatorland Orlando

Is Gatorland Orlando owned by Disney?

No, Gatorland Orlando is not owned by Disney. It was founded in 1949 by Owen Godwin, and it remains a family-owned theme park.

Over the years, it has earned the title of the “Alligator Capital of the World” due to its commitment to preserving and showcasing alligators and crocodiles. The Godwin family continues to operate and manage the park, providing visitors with a unique and authentic experience with these incredible reptiles.

Is Gatorland Orlando appropriate for children?

Yes, Gatorland Orlando is suitable for children of all ages. It offers entertaining and educational attractions, ensuring a safe and memorable experience for kids. From thrilling reptile shows to interactive activities, children can have a delightful time while learning about alligators and wildlife conservation.

Father and child sitting on a large model alligator at Gatorland Orlando

Do you get to eat alligators at Gatorland Orlando?

Yes! Gatorland Orlando offers the opportunity for guests to eat alligator meat in the form of “gator bites” at Pearl’s Good Eats, the park’s eatery.

Rest assured, the meat used to make them is sourced from outside the park. These gator bites are a popular snack among visitors, and the park takes pride in serving this unique treat. 

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